Cast Iron

Rosemary-Roasted Peaches with Salted Caramel Sauce

July 23, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

During peak peach season, you can never have too many good recipes in your rotation. Here, I've taken one of my favorite methods of cooking peaches and put a new spin on it. You start by making a rosemary sugar in the food processor (I like to use raw sugar here for its complexity). Then, you sprinkle the sugar, along with a little salt, on halved peaches; the salt not only enhances their natural sweetness, but it also pulls out moisture to help them caramelize. After a few minutes on the stove top and a blast in a hot oven, the peaches emerge beautifully browned, glistening with juice, and dotted with bright flecks of rosemary. To make a good thing even better, try these peaches with salted caramel sauce, which plays well with the rosemary and with the natural caramel notes of the peaches. Drizzle the sauce over the roasted peaches, making sure you serve extra on the side. Vanilla ice cream is optional, but highly recommended. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: EmilyC tipped us off to Crook’s Corner’s Green Peach Salad, and now she’s working her magic on ripe peaches, too.
WHAT: The royal treatment that your best peaches deserve, complete with herb-scented sugar and salted caramel sauce.
HOW: Make rosemary-flecked sugar in the food processor, then use it to season halved peaches. Pan-roast the fruit in a cast iron skillet with plenty of butter, then finish them in the oven until they’re tender and bubbling. Top with a salted caramel sauce for a gooey finish.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Rosemary adds a savory balance to sweet, buttery peaches, a reminder that herbs and fruit belong together. You can try the peaches without the salted caramel for a more carefree dessert, but we recommend making the sauce and storing it in the fridge -- it’s perfect to eat over ice cream any night of the week. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the rosemary sugar and roasted peaches:
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves (from one or two leafy sprigs)
  • 4 firm, ripe peaches, pitted and halved (peeling is optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • For the salted caramel sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup or golden syrup (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fleur de sel, to taste
  1. To make rosemary sugar: In a food processor, combine raw sugar and chopped rosemary (make sure the rosemary is completely dry if you've just rinsed it). Process for about 30 seconds, or until well integrated. (You won't need the full amount of rosemary sugar for one recipe, but it keeps well tightly covered, and it can be used in countless ways: to sweeten iced tea, to sprinkle over fresh fruit, etc.)
  2. To pan-roast peaches: Preheat oven to 425° F. Liberally sprinkle cut sides of halved peaches with the rosemary sugar, and follow with a pinch of salt.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the peaches in the skillet, cut side-down. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes without disturbing, until the cut sides begin to brown. (Note: The peaches will throw off juice while they’re browning, but it will eventually thicken in the oven.)
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Flip the peaches, drizzle with butter, and continue roasting another 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender. (The total cooking time will depend on the size and ripeness of your peaches.)
  5. To make salted caramel sauce: Combine sugar, corn syrup (or golden syrup), and 1/4 cup water in a deep saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring (stirring can cause the sugar to crystallize), swirling the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks. If you notice any sugar on the sides of your sauce pan, brush it down with a wet pastry brush to dissolve the sugar crystals.
  6. Cook until the sugar has reached a deep amber color, about 7 to 10 minutes total. Then, immediately take the saucepan off the burner. (Keep a close eye: Your caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. If using a candy thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350° F.)
  7. Once the pan is off the heat, add the heavy cream (stand back because it will sputter upon hitting the caramel), and then whisk in the butter until smooth. If the caramel develops any lumps, place it back over low heat and whisk until smooth. Let stand for 3 minutes, then add the vanilla extract. Season the finished caramel with fleur de sel to taste. Tightly covered and refrigerated, the caramel sauce should keep for several weeks in the fridge; gently rewarm it before serving.
  8. Note: When making caramel, I prefer the taste of golden syrup to that of corn syrup. If using golden syrup, I highly recommend the use of a candy thermometer. The golden syrup makes the sugar solution an amber color from the get-go, making it much, much harder to judge the stopping point by eye.
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  • Blaise P
    Blaise P
  • Kate
  • JanetFL
  • Martina Louise Bartolozzi
    Martina Louise Bartolozzi
  • rob weaver
    rob weaver

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

26 Reviews

liz O. August 19, 2019
Very delish! Could I peel the peaches before roasting or would they fall apart? I found the skin a bit hard to eat, but otherwise so good!
Blaise P. August 24, 2018
Hi Emily - Husband and I really enjoy this flavor combo. Next time going to add more rosemary and we'll try it with the sauce. And love Kate's idea with grilled pork chops.
martha August 18, 2018
How can I make 6-8 peaches at a time? 12-16 halves?
EmilyC August 18, 2018
Hi Martha: use could adapt the recipe to a sheet pan by arranging your halved peaches in a single layer and drizzling then with melted butter. If you want a little color on them, pop them under the broiler at the end!
Kate September 16, 2016
This is a delicious side (without caramel sauce) with grilled pork chops. I'm very interested in finding other uses for this savory sugar... I'll keep you posted.
JanetFL July 30, 2016
Thanks, Emily - I'm looking forward to trying this when our Colorado peaches finally come to market in August!
Elizabeth August 17, 2014
Really good! Best part: awesomest caramel sauce ever. Thanks!
EmilyC August 17, 2014
Thanks Elizabeth! This is my favorite caramel sauce as well. Hopefully you have extra to enjoy on ice cream! : )
Martina L. August 9, 2014
Mmmmm.. Just made these with pears. I only put about a tablespoon of rosemary in the sugar but was sorry because I can't taste it at all. Served it with gelato alla crema.
Martina L. August 9, 2014
And i burnt myself making the caramel. I always do.
EmilyC August 15, 2014
Great idea to use pears here! And yes, caramel making can be hazardous! : )
pat July 29, 2014
Love this recipe. Would be a nice dessert for guests after eating a heavy meal.
Thanks so much.
EmilyC July 30, 2014
Thanks Pat! I like this recipe for the same reason, and for the fact that it can be prepared in advance.
rob W. July 29, 2014
How about some ice cream with it, too?
EmilyC July 29, 2014
Oh absolutely yes! I recommend ice cream in my headnote.
rob W. July 30, 2014
I eschewed the poetry and went straight to the recipe
EmilyC July 30, 2014
Ha -- I can appreciate that! : )
inpatskitchen July 29, 2014
Warmest Congrats on the wildcard win!
EmilyC July 29, 2014
Thanks so much, ipk!
Kukla July 28, 2014
Congratulations Emily on the Wildcard Win! Roasting, definitely brings out the best flavors in fruits.
EmilyC July 29, 2014
Thanks Kukla! I love roasting and grilling fruit this time of year.
hardlikearmour July 28, 2014
Congratulations on the WC win! Yum!
EmilyC July 28, 2014
Thank you! : )
em-i-lis June 26, 2013
this sounds wonderful and looks beautiful!
EmilyC June 26, 2013
Thanks Em! I'm so looking forward to buying my first peaches of the season, soon!
em-i-lis June 26, 2013
me too!!! i had one last week that was just awesome- made me excited!